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Appearing in "Menace of the Microworld!"

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Synopsis for "Menace of the Microworld!"

The Thing is helping Reed conduct an experiment for Reed involving using electromagnets to increase the density of an object. Witnessing this is the Human Torch who has come to make jokes at the Thing's expense as usual. As the density of a massive steel ball is increased with the device the Thing tries to hold onto it for as long as possible. Eventually, the weight becomes too much and the Thing ends up falling down, much to the delight of the Torch who instantly begins mocking him. The Thing blows off the Torch's remarks and goes for his box of cigars to have a smoke. As he tries to find a match, suddenly the Thing begins to glow and instantly shrinks out of sight. Witnessing this Reed and Johnny recall how something similar to this happened early on in their careers when Doctor Doom conquered the land of Sub-Atomica in the Microverse. Reed recalls how they enlisted the aid of the original Ant-Man to help them on that case but remembers how Ant-Man -- now calling himself Yellowjacket -- has apparently turned to crime. Johnny then mentions that there is a new Ant-Man that has helped the Avengers on occasion, however, neither men have a way to contact him. As they discuss this, they are unaware that an ant has been listening to their conversation and at the mention of Ant-Man it begins to report back to its master.

At that moment at the Long Island home of Scott Lang, Scott is getting on his daughter Cassie's case to clean up her room if she wants to go out to the movies with one of her friends. However, when he notices ants crawling into her bedroom from the window, he quickly ushers her daughter out of the room, allowing her to go to the movies anyway. With Cassie gone, Scott changes into Ant-Man, and unsure how long he will be gone calls his sister Ruth to come by and look after Cassie while he's gone. While Ruth is more than happy to spend time with her niece, her husband Steve is unimpressed with the time that Scott spends away from his daughter. With his personal matters dealt with, Ant-Man then heads off to lend his assistance to the Fantastic Four.

Back at the Baxter Building, Reed is trying to locate where Ben might be in the Microverse. When Johnny asks why they can't just go after him, Reed explains that their Reducto-Craft was destroyed the last time they were in the Microverse. Suddenly Ant-Man appears before them and although he startles Johnny, he is quickly welcomed. When Reed tells Ant-Man that he will need to shrink down in size and venture to the Microverse, he tells them that he cannot shrink that small. Reed corrects him, explaining that continued exposure to his shrinking gas will allow him to shrink down in size enough to access the Microverse. Ant-Man decides to trust Mister Fantastic and gives it a try and to his surprise, he succeeds and begins whirling past molecules on his way into the Microverse. When Ant-Man regains his senses he finds himself in some strange castle where he is instantly spotted by guards who order his arrest. When they rush him, Ant-Man then shrinks down in size in order to out and fight his way through them. Rushing through the palace he finally comes upon the Thing, who is not being treated as a prisoner, but as an honored guest.

Soon they are joined by Pearla the ruler of Sub-Atomica who demands to know why Ant-Man invaded her realm. Ant-Man explains it was a misunderstanding as he thought the Thing was kidnapped. Pearla explains that she had summoned the Thing because Zorak, the leader of the Lizard Men of Tok seeks to make Pearla as his bride. The only way that she can get out of this union is if the Thing can defeat Zorak in battle on the Field of Honor. Pearla considers Ant-Man a guest and orders her guards to set him up in a room for the night. Ant-Man soon begins to suspect that not everything is as it seems when he is placed in a room that looks more like a prison cell than a bedchamber, however, it has food and a computer system. Ant-Man begins trying to decipher how it works unaware that it allows the guards to spy on his activities. However, suddenly the screen goes dark, prompting the soldiers to check the room. When they enter it is empty and the computer smashed. Thinking that Ant-Man has escaped they go searching for him, unaware that he actually shrunk down in size and has hitched a ride in the boot of one of their number.

Ant-Man is shocked when the guards go to Pearla's throne room to report and learns that the entire battle is all a ruse and that Pearla plots to sacrifice the Thing to Zorak as part of a grander scheme to launch an all-out invasion of Tok. Needing assistance, Ant-Man reaches out with his control helmet to find this world's equivalent to an ant and summons a strange looking flying insect. He then flies out to the arena where the Thing and Zorak are battling it out. Swarming Zorak with this world's flying ants, Ant-Man manages to get to the Thing and warns him that he is being manipulated by Pearla. The Thing then tosses Zorak into the guards and both he and Ant-Man fight their way to Pearla's invasion fleet and wreck it. With Pearla's plot exposed and her invasion force destroyed, the two heroes force Zorak and Pearla to sit down and sign a truce instead. With the crisis over, Ant-Man and the Thing head back home where Ant-Man asks Ben if he would like to join him and his daughter for dinner.


Continuity Notes

  • Johnny recalls how the Fantastic Four first traveled to the Microverse to battle Doctor Doom. This happened in Fantastic Four #16 with the help from the original Ant-Man.
  • Reed mentions how Yellowjacket is a criminal at the time of this story. This is a reference to Avengers #217. In that story, a disgraced Yellowjacket was forced to steal Adamantium for his old foe Egghead. He is eventually arrested for his crimes in Avengers #224 but cleared of wrongdoing in Avengers #230.
  • Reed mentions that their Reducto-Craft was recently destroyed. This happened in Micronauts #40.

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